One of my publications, “Preparing East Asian Undergraduates for the Cultural Challenges of Study in the U.S.”, is a policy white paper discussing how a pre-departure cultural preparation treatment influenced a group of international students’ experiences before, during, and after their first semester at a western U.S. research university. This topic is key to 21st century international education and I see it becoming the next wave of expected coursework for international students.
In this research study, although all participants wished they had taken a formal course about U.S. culture and academic systems while they lived in their home country, not one participant had received or even heard about organized cultural training or U.S. college preparation classes for study abroad before they arrived in the U.S.! This is significant since research indicates that cultural knowledge, realistic expectations, and adjustment management skills speed up cross-cultural adaptation, increases student success, and fosters student engagement (increases student retention rates).
I found that eastern Asian students are eager to learn about the U.S. culture and academic systems prior to leaving home for U.S. study during my 2014 International Education Tour in South Korea and China last fall. Many parents, schools, businesses, and government organizations have asked me to return this year… so I am!
In addition to teaching eastern Asian students about U.S. culture and academic systems, this year’s 2015 International Education tour will also share the research findings from my forthcoming publication entitled, “International Student Support Services Index” (ISSSI).
ISSSI organizes internationally related services by school and ranks institutions in relationship to other U.S. campuses. The index is grounded on five key research indicators that make up cross-cultural adjustment best practices to foster international (inbound and outbound) student success from pre-departure to repatriation/re-entry stages.
ISSSI’s research findings are made available through a free internationally circulated online publication used by domestic and international students, parents, study abroad organizations/placement services, recruiters, government organizations, secondary schools, and post-secondary international programs to better understand the U.S. international climate and individual campus internationalization efforts.
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HLSL Institute provides educational services to international students, expatriates, international programs, and government organizations that bridge cultural gaps and connect the world, one person at a time.